Another post about baking! Hopefully this time from a less confused person. After implementing the critique that Ben Keeling had for me last time my bakes have improved. It took a lot of time experimentation and confusion to get here though. I found that smoothing groups work to a certain extent but don't quite cut it.
After struggling with creating a low poly that wasn't crazy topolgy-wise I talked to Rich Carey who linked me to a script on Polycount that averagely weights the vertex normal. This almost entirely fixed my smoothing errors and bakes so I made sure I looked into how it worked and what was happening. The vertex normals from the smoothing groups and average weighted vertex normals are clearly different and this has a massive effect on the end result of the normals.